Definitely Dead

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, c2006, 2007

Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 6

ISBN: 9780441014910

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 324 (342 including an excerpt from the next book – All Together Dead)

Setting: Bon Temps and New Orleans, Louisiana

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Sookie’s long lost, vampire cousin was murdered in New Orleans, the vampire queen of Louisiana – Sophie-Anne Leclerq – came to Bon Temps to tell Sookie the news.  Hadley and Sophie-Anne had been lovers.  Sookie knows she has to deal with Hadley’s estate in New Orleans, but she puts it off as long as she can; life has been fairly busy in Bon Temps.  When a demon comes knocking at her front door, though, Sookie knows it’s time to go.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: There’s not quite as much action in this book as in some of the previous books, but it is still very fast paced and contains lots of dialog.

Characterization: The series continues to be told in first person through Sookie’s perspective.  Many familiar characters continue to have large roles in Sookie’s life.  Important new characters in this story are Quinn and Sophie-Anne.

Frame: There are two frames for this book.  The first is Sookie’s fairy connection and how this affects her life.  The second is the vampire city of New Orleans (where about half of the story takes place).  The series continues to blend dark and light elements between vampire and supernatural killings with Sookie’s outlook on life.

Story line: A convoluted story which has Sookie dealing with elements of her recent past which she would rather just put behind her.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Waitresses — Louisiana — Fiction.

Telepathy — Fiction.

Vampires — Louisiana — New Orleans — Fiction.

Stackhouse, Sookie (Fictitious character) — Fiction.

Louisiana — Fiction.

Mystery fiction.

Similar authors: Charlie Huston – Joe Pitt Casebooks, Laurell K. Hamilton, Marjorie Lui, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon

Personal notes: I am still continuing to enjoy this series very much.  The mystery elements of this particular story were easy for me to figure out, but there is a lot of character growth throughout the series and interesting shifting of relationships.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – telepath, vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, fairies, witches

This book won an award from the Romantic Times Book Review in 2006 for best Amateur Sleuth Mystery Novel.

Since the series has grown quite long and complex, the author recommends reading the series in order.

Charlaine Harris’ website

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